Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO

© Yao Li

Architect: TAO (Trace Architecture Office) – HUA Li
Location: China, Province, Xiaoquan town
Total Floor Area: 8,900 sqm
Construction cost: RMB 14 Million
Completion: 2010
Design team: HUA Li, Zhu Zhiyuan, Jiang Nan, Li Guofa, Kong Desheng
Photograph: Yao Li 

  

© Yao Li

The old XiaoQuan Elementary School was severely damaged during the catastrophic 5.12 Sichuan earthquake in 2008 and was demolished afterwards. Supported by donations from several sponsors, the project is to build new school in the center of Xiaoquan old town. The program consists of main classroom buildings, classrooms for various activities, teacher’s office, student dormitory buildings, and dining hall. The new school will host more than 900 students.

© Yao Li

The design is conceived as a cluster of small buildings to create a micro-city like campus. The fragmentary instead of unified building composition creates many urban like place such us streets, plazas, courtyards, and steps at various scales. These places are intended to encourage diversified and spontaneous activities of children. Small-scale playful corners and labyrinth like space as passage and playground are created to provoke children’s curiosity and imagination. Through this, we also intend to continue the urban space memory of Xiaoquan town in the school building, so as to avoid completely losing the continuity of urban fabric during rebuilding process after earthquake.

© Yao Li

The design responds to Sichuan’s hot and humid climate. Sunshade device, natural ventilation and heat reduction are important elements considered in design. We also explore to maximize the use of local resource and craftsmanship which can be acquired. Local materials such as wood, brick and bamboo are used for windows, walls, and ceilings. The recycled bricks from earthquake are used in pavement. Cast-in-situ concrete are used for exposed structure. The construction is completely done by a local contractor. The construction cost is well controlled within the economical budget of RMB 1,500 yuan per square meter.

© Yao Li

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO" 09 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Nov 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=205454>
  • http://officepictures.wordpress.com Azhar

    School With kids,

  • godryk

    I like it as it challenges our western view of what a school should be.

    Even though the dark gray atmosphere doesn’t match what we understand as a project for childrem we have to admit that this a magic place full of a different spaces, corners, rooms, shapes, levels and materials. Seems like a very fun place to be during recess time, at least much better place than a safe and closed cage made of colourful rubber…

    An the plans are beautiful.

  • hlg

    beautiful and raw. I feel like it could not have been done anywhere else. the US would never allow a raw concrete school, much less even a decorative water feature in a school anymore…

  • http://www.facebook.com/qarchitecture Q-Architecture

    Beautiful form! The nooks and crannies are great for kids. We’d add more green and softscape for play area. Children are especially attracted to texture and love to physically experience things. Plants, water, are natural materials that will stimulate their rapidly growing brains!

  • http://www.que-arch.com Q Architecture

    Beautiful form! The nooks and crannies are great for kids. We’d add more green and softscape for play area. Children are especially attracted to texture and love to physically experience things. Plants, water, are natural materials that will stimulate their rapidly growing brains!